Australia make solid start after skittling India for 109

Australia lead by 47 runs in first innings with six wickets in hand
Mar 01, 2023
<p>Australians bounced back after losing first two Test matches.

Australians bounced back after losing first two Test matches. PHOTO: AFP

Australia made a solid start with the bat on day one of the third Test against India on Wednesday, reaching 156 for the loss of four wickets at stumps after bowling out the hosts for just 109.

On a treacherous spinning wicket in Indore, Usman Khawaja was top scorer for visitors with 60 runs.

Earlier Australia spinner Matthew Kuhnemann took five wickets and Nathan Lyon three to roll over India for 109 after lunch.

Australia, attempting to fight back in the four-match series from two heavy defeats, introduced spin in the sixth over after India won the toss and elected to bat.

It brought instant reward in a frenetic opening session on a viciously turning track with a low bounce as left-armer Kuhnemann had captain Rohit Sharma stumped for 12.

Shubman Gill, recalled in place of the struggling KL Rahul, attempted to hit back with three fours but also fell to Kuhnemann, caught at slip by Australia captain Steve Smith for 21.

Senior off-spinner Lyon then bowled Cheteshwar Pujara for one with a delivery that spun hugely and stayed low.

Wickets kept tumbling with Jadeja out for four, caught at cover off Lyon, and Shreyas Iyer bowled by Kuhnemann for a duck, as India slipped to 45-5 in the first hour of play.

Virat Kohli looked positive in his knock of 22, but fell lbw to Todd Murphy, the third time the off-spinner has claimed the star batsman’s wicket in as many matches.

From the first ball of the day, returning left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc thought he had Rohit caught behind but the appeal was turned down.

Australia did not review, only for replays to show the batsman had nicked the ball and three balls later they missed another opportunity that would have seen Rohit out lbw had it been referred to the TV umpire.

But Rohit, who hit a century in the previous Test, did not last long and neither did the rest of India’s top and middle order.

Umesh Yadav took India past 100 after lunch with an entertaining 17, hitting two sixes and a four, before he was trapped lbw to give Kuhnemann his fifth wicket.

The innings then ended shambolically when Mohammed Siraj was run out easily as Axar Patel called him needlessly for second run off Lyon.

India made two changes to the team that won in Delhi with Gill in for Rahul and fast bowler Yadav replacing the rested Mohammed Shami.

Australia, led by Smith in the absence of Pat Cummins, also made two changes.

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